Writing can be hard. One of the main obstacles that people encounter when sitting down to write something is all the distractions that a modern desktop throws at you such as cats on the internet, cats on twitter, and cats on reddit. Focuswriter is a neat word processor available in Fedora that provides a user experience to minimize all these cat-related distractions, allowing you to focus on what you need to write.

Focus writer is a full-screen application that — by design — hides all the other desktop elements, and even most of its own user interface, and pretty much just leaves you with somewhere to write. focuswriter-default

Basic word processing

The default file format that Focuswriter uses is Open Document Text (.ODT), which is the format used by Libre Office. However, Focuswriter does not use the majority of features specified in ODT, so no support for inserting images, tables, or even headers.

By design, only basic formatting of text is supported, such as applying bold, italics, underlines, subscript, superscript, indenting, and text alignment. Other basics you would expect from a word processor are also present in Focuswriter, including spellchecker, a handy autosave feature, and support for editing multiple documents.

Customise your experience

Focuswriter also has many options to tweak and change how your writing experience looks. You can create, modify and use multiple different themes, tweaking display options such as fonts, background colours, background images, the colour of the foreground, opacity of the foreground, text colour, text size and line spacing.


Tools to help your writing

Reducing distractions is not the only thing that Focuswriter gives you to improve your focus on getting things written. Timers allow you to set a goal of how long you want to write for, allowing you to just focus on writing, and Focuswriter will alert you when time is up. It is also possible to set daily writing goals for documents, to help you stay on track if you are writing a lengthy document like a novel. Focuswriter can also display live statistics on your writing session, so you can keep track of how many words, paragraphs or even characters you have written in a writing session.

Focuswriter also has a focused text feature that greys out all other visible text in the document other than the current line, the current 3 lines, or the current paragraph. This is designed to help you focus on what you are currently writing, and reduce the urge to go back and edit other sections of your document.


Getting it for Fedora

Focuswriter is available in the official Fedora repositories, so you can find it in the Software application on Fedora Workstation, or install on the command line with sudo dnf install focuswriter

This post was originally published in Feburary 2015